Tower Life Building (San Antonio)
- Tower Life Building (San Antonio)
The Tower Life Building is a landmark and historic building in San Antonio, Texas.
Construction of the tower began in 1927 and the building rises 403 feet (123 meters) and has 30 floors. The building, which opened in 1929 was originally named the Smith-Young Tower and is the central component of a paritally completed development called the Bowen Island Skyscrapers. The eight sided, neo-gothic brick and terra-cotta tower (complete with gargoyles) was designed by noted local architectural firm Ayers & Ayers (Atlee & Robert B. Ayers). The building also housed San Antonio's first Sears, Roebuck and Company store in its basement and first levels.
The other completed building in the development is the former Plaza Hotel (also designed by Ayers & Ayers), which opened in 1927. The property became the local outlet of Hilton Hotels in 1956 and was converted into the Granada Apartments in 1966. Subsequent structures in the development were never built as a direct result of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.
In the 1940's the building was renamed the Transit Tower for the San Antonio Transit Company, which the Smith Brothers purchased in 1943. The building is now named for its current owner, Tower Life Insurance Company.
In 1991 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. [ [http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=118199 Tower Life Building, San Antonio ] ]
*Tower of the Americas
* National Register nomination, Smith Young Tower, prepared by Stephanie Hetos Cocke, 1991.
* Stephanie Hetos Cocke, "Atlee B. and Robert M. Ayres," Texas Architect, November-December 1989.
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